Kerry caps great day in Croker with Community and Council awards

Tadhg Evans

Kerry ruled the roost in Croke Park on the Saturday just gone - both on and off the field, and certainly not confined to Beaufort and Kilcummin GAA clubs.

That's because the Kingdom bagged further silverware in the form of two outright prizes and one silver prize at the 2019 All-Ireland Community and Council Awards in Croke Park.

The IPB Insurance- and Local Authority Members Association-hosted event saw Kerry receive the 'Best Local Authority Innovation for Attracting Inward Investment' award, recognising work by Kerry County Council and strategic partners in developing coastal innovation hubs in Dingle, Sneem, and Cahersiveen.

But that wasn't the sole award Kerry claimed on the night. Kenmare Halloween Howl, a family-oriented week-long festival of all things spooky, took the gong for the best arts and culture initiative - much to the delight of Sarah Durkin of Kenmare Marketing and Events Group (KMEG).

"It's been going for a decade and has grown organically ever since," she told The Kerryman. "It started out really with a group of parents brainstorming ideas, and that eventually grew into the seven-day, voluntary festival we have now, supported by Kerry County Council and Fáilte Ireland.

"It always starts on the first Saturday of the Halloween break with an opening ceremony, and you have haunted houses, arts and crafts workshops, everything, and the big event is the parade on the 31st. The shops and businesses dress up their windows and really get into it, and it really is a lovely family event.

"We get visitors from all over, even overseas; it coincides with a break at that time of year in France, so we get a lot of French visitors in particular."

Aside from Sarah and her obvious delight, there were other causes for celebration for Kerry. The Mall Shared Space was recognised with a silver award in the 'Best Disability Access and Inclusion Initiative' category, while the Reeks District was nominated for the Best Tourism Initiative prize.

Kerry also received two nominations in the 'Best Business Working with the Community' category for its development of community and business alliance structures; and its purchasing system for plant hire.